- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Your editorial “The fate of FedEx” (Opinion, Thursday) implies that FedEx is on the side of free markets and that UPS is seeking legislation that singles out FedEx for poor treatment. That is not the case.

It also implies that only labor unions could side with UPS. That, too, is not the case. I (and the Institute over which I preside) have almost always opposed the political agenda of Big Labor. (The only exception I can recall was on the need to drill for more domestic oil in Alaska.) There are strong pro-free market reasons to support the proposed legislation, and The Washington Times does a disservice to suggest otherwise.

UPS was founded more than 100 years ago and is regulated under a set of labor rules that apply to the trucking industry. FedEx, which was founded about 30 years ago, began primarily as an airline and thus is governed by a different set of labor rules. Over time, the two companies have provided increasingly similar services. Both have large fleets of planes and trucks to provide shipping and delivery services. But they are regulated in very different ways, with UPS facing the more onerous and heavy burdens and FedEx facing less demanding labor rules.

Your editorial is off the mark when it states that this change would somehow endanger medical supplies being sent overnight. This is silly. There are numerous carriers (including UPS) that can ship medicine overnight. They do it right now, even with the unfavorable law. So there is no reason FedEx could not continue to do so once the laws regulating both companies are made equal.

FedEx began its opposition to this legislation by disingenuously calling it a bailout for UPS, as if this provision would give tax dollars to UPS. FedEx hoped to capitalize on growing public sentiment that the federal government has been wasting hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars “bailing out” failing businesses. FedEx can oppose this legislation if it likes, but it cannot honestly call it a bailout.

A bailout is when the government gives money to failing businesses to prop them up in hopes that they will become viable. UPS is not seeking nor will it receive any taxpayer money as a result of this regulatory reform.

It is time for FedEx to admit that it simply hopes to keep the status quo, which gives it and only it favorable treatment in the marketplace.



Frontiers of Freedom


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